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Weekend Box Office: The Avengers Crushes More Records; Dark Shadows Musters Little Interest

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By Chris Kavan - 05/14/12 at 01:34 AM CT

Johnny Depp's pasty vampire was no match for The Avengers, as the super hero blockbuster easily took the top spot in its second week and shattered yet more records along the way.

The Avengers took in an estimated $103.1 million, topping Avatar's $75.6 million for the best second weekend in history. The film dropped just 50.3% - the best hold for any film opening at $120 million or more. Other records it now holds includes the fastest film to reach the $300 and $350 million mark (its total now stands at $373.1 million) as well as the highest grossing film in its eighth, ninth and tenth days out. The film should top out somewhere between $500 - $600 million, and will probably wind up in the third place slot, ahead of The Dark Knight's $533.3 million total). Worldwide, the film crossed the $1 billion tally as is currently following the pace of Avatar and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

With all the fanfare The Avengers is still getting, that meant slim picking for the most recent Tim Burton/Depp collaboration. Dark Shadows took second with $28.8 million - nowhere near the opening of Alice in Wonderland's $116 million and about half of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's $56.2 million. Audiences responded with a lackluster B- score - the film was based on a soap opera with more of a cult following than anything else and just couldn't find traction with general audiences.

Think Like a Man took third with $6.3 million in its fourth week, raising its total to nearly $82 million and off just 22.3% from last week. With little competition in its genre, the film should continue to do steady business.

The Hunger Games continues to be the highest grossing 2012 film (at least for a few more days) taking in another $4.4 million and raising its total to $386.9 million. Down just 21% in its eight week already, it now stands above every Twilight and Harry Potter film for franchise bragging rights. Though it will soon be eclipsed for the top film of 2012, Katniss and co. have plenty to be happy about.

Rounding out the top five, The Lucky One was off 24.5% and stayed in the fifth spot with just over $4 million for a $53.7 million total.

The biggest jump of the week belongs to the still limited-release film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Playing in just 178 theaters (up from 27 it opened to last week) the film broke into the top ten to wind up in eight place with $2.65 million and the second-best per theater average (after The Avengers) with $14,888/theater. The film has earned $3.7 million since opening and it appears the pedigree of the actors involved has been enough to bring in a sizable, interested audience. With the positive response, expect it to keep adding theaters in the coming weeks.

Three films with wildly different approaches will try to stand up to The Avengers. For pure action, Battleship looks to follow on the heels of Transformers by promising bombastic thrills (and little else), while Sacha Baron Cohen will attempt to get some laughs as The Dictator and finally the ensemble romantic comedy What to Expect When You're Expecting hopes to do much better than New Years Day. It will be interesting to see how Battleship stands up against The Avengers in its third week.

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